When you hold a second passport, it opens a world of opportunities to help you protect your finances, safeguard your privacy, and to grow your financial nest egg free from high taxes. At 2adventurous Nomads we endeavour to provide you with only the right information you need when it comes to travel lifestyle.
WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP?
Citizenship is the relationship between an individual and a nation state whereby the state grants the citizen certain rights, such as the right to vote, work and own property, and in return the citizen accepts the responsibility of upholding the laws and customs of that state. Citizenship unites different people under a common identity.
Traditional means of acquiring citizenship and the corresponding passports have been birth, naturalization and marriage. Naturalization is the process by which a resident of a country can acquire citizenship usually by residing in that country for a certain number of years. Since 1984 investment in the host country has been another way of acquiring citizenship.
Can I buy a passport?
Often when people talk about how you can buy a passport, they talk about citizenship by investment. However, no one can “buy a passport” legally, but with citizenship by investment programs you can ultimately obtain a second passport more quickly and easily than through other immigration methods.
WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT?
Citizenship by investment is the process of obtaining a second citizenship and passport by investing in the economy of the host country. Citizenship by investment programs legally confer citizenship status faster than traditional immigration processes and do so without requiring investors to put their lives on hold.
WHY DO PEOPLE INVEST IN A SECOND CITIZENSHIP?
There are many reasons to invest in a second citizenship, from personal safety to increased global mobility. Applications can be approved in as little as three months, resulting in citizenship for life, a valid passport, visa-free travel and more. Economic citizenship opens up a world of possibilities to high net worth investors.
A second passport from a stable, peaceful country can be life-saving in the event of any kind of political unrest in one’s home country. This type of insurance is priceless for investors and their families.
Many passports are quite restrictive in their visa-free mobility, forcing citizens to obtain visas whenever they need to travel abroad. A second passport can offer individuals from these countries increased global mobility. For example, the passport of Pakistan allows visa-free entry into only 40 countries, whereas the passport of Cyprus allows visa-free entry to 164 countries. The difference in global mobility equals an incredible amount of time saved filing visa applications and is priceless to business people the world over.
See our Passport Index for the visa-free score of every passport in the world.
New business opportunities open up to participants in citizenship by investment programs as they can now do business in the host country as well as travel abroad more freely.
Dual citizenship may prove advantageous for tax optimization purposes. For example, some countries only tax income earned from that country and do not subject capital gains to taxes either. This allows investors to manage their wealth more efficiently and effectively.
Most citizenship by investment programs are available to the family members of the main applicant. This means that investors can secure a better future for their spouse and children. Second citizenships offer access to world-class health care, education and an improved lifestyle.
Education is the foundation of a successful life as a global citizen. Investing in a second citizenship can open up access to the best schools in the world for applicants and their children by qualifying them for domestic rather than international tuition fees.
WHAT DO COUNTRIES GAIN FROM CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAMS?
Many countries offer citizenship by investment programs in order to attract much-needed foreign direct investment. Countries can then use these funds to invest in their own projects, such as real estate development, business development and job creation. CBI programs also attract global talent and know-how aimed at boosting the economy.
For example, St. Kitts & Nevis applicants can invest in the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, which aims to assist the government and country in transitioning to a more diversified economy. The foundation supports the government, but also undertakes new projects itself. To date, the foundation has invested more than US$55 million in the development of St. Kitts & Nevis.
WHICH COUNTRIES OFFER CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAMS?
There are plenty of countries that offer citizenship for sale through investment programmes nowadays, but the practice itself isn’t exactly new though.
Nevertheless, more and more countries are coming up with these offers and some of them can be particularly lucrative for foreigners and immigrants wishing to settle, explore, build a vacation house or just do business in another country. For those that are not aware how this works, the basic idea is that the interested person will be able to get a citizenship in a particular country by making financial contributions to the nation in question.
Citizenship in the Caribbean
Several countries in the Caribbean, such as Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, offer citizenship in exchange for an investment of $300,000 (Saint Lucia) and $400,000 (Antigua and Saint Kitts) in an approved real estate project. It’s possible to return the investment by selling the real estate object in 5 years. However, you must keep in mind that there are additional fees – government processing and due diligence fees – that are non-refundable.
Additional fees for Antigua and Barbuda passport: government processing is $50,000 for a family of 4; due diligence is $7,500 for a main applicant, $7,500 for a spouse, $2,000 for a dependent child from 12 to 17 years of age, $4,000 for a dependent child from 18 to 25 years of age and for a dependent parent over 65 years of age.
Additional fees for Saint Kitts and Nevis: government processing is $35,000 for a main applicant, $20,000 for a spouse, $10,000 a dependent child under 30 years of age and for a dependent parent over 55 years of age; due diligence is $7,500 for a main applicant, $4,000 for any other person in the application.
Additional fees for Saint Lucia: government processing is $50,000 for a main applicant, $25,000 for each dependent under 18 years of age, $35,000 for each dependent over 18 years of age; due diligence is $7,500 for a main applicant, $5,000 for any other person in the application.
What do you look for in your citizenship program? What about in your citizenship itself? It’s likely that St. Lucia meets your criteria for both. It’s a tropical Eastern Caribbean Island with a high earning population, high safety and plenty of landscape to enjoy and views to admire. It’s really got everything – even an easy, straightforward CIP. Recent blog about St Lucia.
The overall approval process for the CIP takes an average of three months. Once that three months is up, and you’ve received notice of your qualification, you can make the required minimum donation into the investment vehicle you’ve chosen and then you’re granted a Certificate of Citizenship – just like that!
The process itself requires a background check and clean bill of health, along with a donation to any of the following investment vehicles:
- St. Lucia Economical Fund
- Government Bonds
- Real Estate Projects
- Enterprise Project
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis is one nation, made up of two small islands. The government of this country wishes to encourage foreign investment and growth of its economy through its own citizen by investment program.
This program requires that individuals who qualify have a high net worth and can invest in the following ways:
- Real estate investment of at least $400,000 USD – this investment must be kept for at least five years before citizenship is granted.
- Donation to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation. The amounts vary depending on your family status:
- $250,000 USD for a single applicant
- $300,000 USD for up to three dependents
- $350,000 USD for up to five dependents
- $450,000 USD for up to seven dependents
- $50,000 USD for every dependent after that
St. Kitts and Nevis offer a great program, with citizenship guaranteeing visa-free entry to over 100 other countries, but as you can see your investment options are a bit more limited. For this program, you also must pass a background check – as with most others. The process takes about six months, and this country’s program is not only among the cheapest of the ones available, but it’s also the oldest of its kind.
Dominica has a visa offer, called the golden visa, for those who can make an investment toward residency in the country. This CIP offers much-sought-after second citizenship for those who qualify, and that passport can be available in four to six months. It doesn’t even require any visits to the country! Even better, the Dominica program is THE cheapest in the world – requiring an investment of only $100,000 USD. You don’t have to make this investment right away – you can start by investing a portion and then submitting the remaining portion after approval. Approval would grant immediate citizenship.
Antigua and Barbuda
The Antigua and Barbuda CIP offers both citizenship and a second passport as well. There are three approved investment vehicles for this application, and to be eligible, you’ll have to choose one of the three:
- Paying a minimum of $200,000 USD into the National Development Fund of Antigua and Barbuda
- Making a real estate investment following the Citizenship by Investment Unit guidelines
- Making a business investment according to the Unit’s guidelines.
As with any of these programs, there are both processing and due diligence fees applied to any type of investment route chosen.
What makes Antigua and Barbuda so appealing to so many is that it’s made up of a chain of 365 islands and clear beaches. It is a haven for sailboat and scuba diving enthusiasts.
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES THAT OFFER CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
What is a European passport?
A European passport is a passport of any member country of the European Union, but at the same time it is an EU passport because it gives the rights to live, work and study in any EU country.
Apart from citizenship rights of an EU citizen, an EU passport opens borders of many countries worldwide. It is ideal for businessmen and entrepreneurs that want to live in the EU and do business there, but at the same time need freedom to travel visa-free in order to grow their business and build international relationships.
One way of becoming an EU citizen is obtaining a second passport either directly or through obtaining permanent residence first. European countries, such as Malta, Spain, Latvia, Cyprus, Portugal, UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Jersey, Guernsey, etc. are the countries that offers permanent residence or second citizenship through their residence by investment and citizenship by investment programs.
Bulgaria boasts a rich and diverse culture and is one of the youngest EU member states. With its temperate climate and economic way of life makes it the ideal location in Southeast Europe.
Bulgaria’s Residence and Citizenship program includes a fast track citizenship option, which is one of the fastest programs leading to residence. In order to qualify you must have a net worth of 511,292 EUR. This amount must be deposited into a Governmental Bond Portfolio for an investment period of 5 years. The full amount of 511,292 EUR is returned to the investor at the end of the 5 year period. There will be no interest on the money however, the investment is fully guaranteed by the Government bonds.
The Applicant also has an option to finance the investment amount through a European bank. Our trusted associates will guide you through this process, if required. The fast track citizenship option allows applicants to apply for citizenship even faster and double their investment.
Investment Type: Real Estate
Nationalities preference: Open to all Nationalities
Permanent- Residency Timescale: 2-3 months
Citizenship Timescale: 7 years
- Travel directly from your country of origin to any Schengen country including the United Kingdom
- Residents are welcome to travel and reside freely within the Schengen Area for up to 3 months every 6 months period with the right of multiple entries.
- European Residency status for a lifetime.
- Mediterranean climate.
- Citizens have the right to live and work anywhere within the 34 countries of the European Union (EU)
The Mediterranean climate for Portugal and its rich and diverse culture makes it an ideal location for families. The fast developing market is secure and perfect for investors alike who will have access to the entire Schengen zone.
Portugal’s Golden Resident program is aimed at attracting foreign direct investments to the country from non-EU investors who meet certain requirements. These are that they must invest in property, of a total value of up to or above EUR 500,000, or in property worth up to or above 350,000 EUR which is more than 30 years old or located in urban regeneration areas designated for refurbishing. In some cases, the investment amount may be reduced to EUR 280,000 if the investment is made in low density population areas. The funds must originate from abroad and proof of no criminal record must be provided.
This visa allows the applicant to reside and work in Portugal as well as having visa free travel within the Schengen member states. Temporary residence is granted initially for 5 years, after which you are eligible to apply for your permanent residence; and one year after can become a citizen of Portugal. You are able to include your spouse, dependent children and dependent parents. The minimum stay requirement is only 7 days for the first year and 14 days for subsequent 2 year periods.
Our associates are on hand to provide you with first hand assistance in selecting the right property and obtaining a guaranteed return on this investment
Residency under the Spanish investor visa program allows a real estate investor and their immediate family to live in Spain. The minimum investment amount is Euros 500000 in Real estate and the investment need to be maintained for the period of 5 years. The legislation has no minimum period of residence. Hence an investor can buy a property in Spain, travel freely to Spain at any point and their family can do the same. The family can live in Spain permanently, with access to schools both state and private following the English curriculum. Eligibility for citizenship is usually after 10 years, at which point you will have access to study elsewhere at universities in Europe.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING A SECOND PASSPORT?
Each country has a different set of requirements that applicants must fulfill for its citizenship by investment program. For example, some programs require medical examinations and proof of good health, while others do not. However, some requirements are common to all such programs:
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Show the legal source of the investment funds.
- Invest in one of the government-approved options, such as real estate, government bonds or a national economic fund.
All requirements must be met in order for citizenship applications to be approved by the host government. See the specific requirements on the individual program pages.